Long time vet and backup to Casey Hampton, Chris Hoke has been placed on the IR and will have season ending neck surgery. In what was described as a ‘stinger’ all they way back on October 16th, has now become a much more complicated injury that is leading to surgery. Seeing how badly a neck injury can be, a la Peyton Manning, some sources like the PPG are saying that Hoke’s career could be over.
Hoke is 35 years old, and an old body has a hard time healing. Hoke has been a staple on the defense as a backup since 2002. In 2004 he had significant time backing up Casey Hampton. He’s always done a decent job at filling, though he is not the NT force that Hampton is/ was back in Hampton’s prime. Steve McLendon has filled in at Hoke’s role as the primary back up. So if Hampton goes down and there’s no Hoke – will the Steelers notice?